Rosa, owner of Native Hand by Hand and Silver Fashions, comes from a family of artisans in Ecuador. Alongside her siblings and parents, she would spend 12 hours a day creating beautiful handmade clothing and jewelry and selling it at markets. When she moved to San Francisco in 1985, she had to put her artisanal talents temporarily on hold as she cleaned homes to make a living. However, after she gave birth to her daughter in 1993, her commitment to family and her love for handicrafts led her to resume selling artisanal crafts.
“When I gave birth to my daughter, I realized how important it was to be able to spend more time with her. I needed a job that would allow me to take care of my child.”
As she had once done in Ecuador, Rosa began selling her clothing and jewelry in the streets of the Mission, a San Francisco neighborhood—but this time she is able to earn a living through the arts while working significantly fewer hours than she did as a child or in her career cleaning houses.
“I work extremely hard. Owning my own shop gives me the freedom to create my own schedule and spend time with family, as well”, Rosa noted.
Word of Rosa’s beautiful jewelry has spread over the years and her business has grown so much that she was able to open up a storefront right in the Mission, named Native Hand by Hand and Silver Fashions. But in 2009, when she wanted a loan in order to expand her business, she was considered “unbankable” by major banks because she did not have any credit history. After a friend referred her to Opportunity Fund, she used a microloan to buy more inventory. She was able to pay back her loan and increase her credit score to 727. Now she has established her credit history and become more integrated into the U.S. financial system.
Rosa wants to expand her business even more in order to pay for her daughter’s college and she needs a loan for $1,500 to purchase additional inventory for her store. “I am so proud of my daughter for having graduated from high school this spring,” she said. But along with this joy comes the necessity of providing for further education. This second microloan will aid her in supporting her family and following her dreams by continuing to grow her business.
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